Sister of United Flight 93 Passenger Makes Personal Appeal to Massachusetts Politicians to Honor the American Traditions of Unity and Support for Immigrants
Boston, MA, May 8, 2017: Thank you Chairs and members of the Joint Committee. I am speaking in support of H.3033 (An Act Relative to Enforcing Federal Law]. My name is Terry Greene. I am a resident of Cambridge, MA. I represent my family’s interests and am also testifying on behalf of the organization September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. My brother, Donald Freeman Greene perished in the attacks of September 11th, 2001. He was a passenger aboard United Flight 93. A pilot himself, he has been recognized among the heroic passengers who prevented the airplane from reaching it’s likely destination of the United States Capitol. However, Don was always a hero to me long before 9/11 in the way he committed himself to his family and the well-being of others. Don worked as an aeronautic safety engineer saving countless lives. He voluntarily served on the Board of the Corporate Angels Network, an organization that flies cancer patients aboard empty seats of corporate jets to their treatment. In this way he helped connect corporate executives with their fellow Americans in need – people of all backgrounds across the nation, often resulting in longstanding friendships on top of access to lifesaving treatment. In the wake of 9/11, the nonprofit aided injured first responders by helping use the fleet of volunteer aircraft to transport medical supplies needed in New York.
You will recall the days surrounding the attacks of September 11th, 2001, and the rallying cry “United We Stand!” Many did unite in the United States and across the world, from all religions, ethnic and racial backgrounds, countries of origins, residency status, to support one another and to aid those of us family members. Today, our 9/11 families stand beside our immigrant neighbors in MA and across the nation. We seek true unity and security rather than superficial measures catering to fear and discrimination. We honor the support of so many Muslim residents and visitors to the United States. Their contributions as educators and students; emergency responders, police, and peace-builders; researchers and workers across every field all make us stronger as we share information, cultures, and knowledge – often saving one-another’s lives.
We cannot afford a security that is not rooted in the reality of what truly strengthens domestic and foreign policy. We will not abide using our loved-ones memories to toss aside the values and the diversity of peoples that underlie what America, a largely immigrant nation founded at its heart on a commitment to freedom of religion, stands for – what truly makes it a great nation. We will not cede these values to the threat of terrorism or to political expediency.
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows urges you to do the right thing in protecting both individuals and protecting American tradition and principles and pass the H.3033 and to also add vital provisions encompassed in the Safe Communities Act ensuring that local police do not question, arrest or hold people for immigration violations; ensuring that local police do not provide non-public information about people in their custody to immigration authorities; and guaranteeing basic due process for immigrants who are detained in our jails or lockups. We encourage the Joint Committee to make sure that these key provisions are added to H.3033.
Dividing against our fellow residents makes us weak. United we Stand Tall!
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is an organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11, 2001. Currently comprised of over 200 families, the group advocates nonviolence and adherence to the rule of law in the pursuit of justice and accountability